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Blog Tour – ‘Strangers’ by Paul Finch

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Having absolutely loved Paul Finch’s last book, I was thrilled to be asked if I would like to take part in this blog tour as well.  ‘Strangers’ was published on the 22nd September 2016 by Avon.   I have still to read this book but I am almost 100 per cent sure that I will enjoy it just as much if not more.

Paul Finch has written a guest post for me to host, but first here’s what ‘Strangers’ is all about.

 

Book Blurb

Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life.

As PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.

But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option – and these murders are as brutal as they come.

Lucy must step into the line of fire – a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.

And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it…

Always gripping. Always gruesome. Paul Finch will leave fans of Rachel Abbott and MJ Arlidge gasping for more

~~~~~

How dark can detective fiction go?

Before we can answer this question, we need to remember that detective fiction is a pretty broad church, ranging from the pastoral-flavoured subgenre of the village green murder mystery to the ultra-violent world of inner city cops and the heinous criminals they pursue.

But by the nature of the beast, I think we must expect that it will always have the potential to get pretty dark. The bedrock of modern detective fiction for me is still the Hardboiled genre, as pioneered by the likes of Hammett and Chandler, and in which cynical antiheroes walk tightropes through worlds of crime and corruption.

Even back then in the more censorious 20s, 30s and 40s, our fictional investigators found themselves confronting the dregs of humanity, encountering contract killers, incest, rape, drug addiction, child abuse, sex slavery, domestic brutality – the whole gamut of social ills that still make us shudder when we’re watching the newsreels today.

It’s one of those difficult areas, I guess. In most cases, people read as a form of recreation, and therefore we authors write as a form of entertainment. But can it ever be morally acceptable to dredge through the most miserable of human experiences so that others can have fun?

The answer to that must be that we all live in the real world, and that we writers would be short-changing our readers if we tried to pretend that this wasn’t the case. It would be like telling a war story without the violence, or writing about the Third World as if there was no poverty or disease.

But the question still stands. How dark can you go?

Well … I’ve seen it done superbly well at the extreme limits of the spectrum. If you look at the world of horror novels rather than thrillers, some amazing examples stand out: THE WOLFEN (1978) by Whitley Strieber, in which two New York detectives hunt for an apparent cannibal killer and gradually come to realise they are tracking a werewolf pack; and LEGION (1983) by William Peter Blatty, in which a time-served cop investigates a series of appalling torture murders in Georgetown, only to find that he’s dealing with Satanic ritual. Neither of these books stint on the horror, but such is the skill and intensity with which they are told, that they are basically unputdownable.

In these cases, of course, the supernatural element is likely to alleviate any concerns one might have about excessive gruesomeness and depravity, because that earmarks these works as fantasy, which means that not only is it not real, but that it’s not supposed to be real.

We authors are on slightly dodgier ground when we are purporting to tell stories that could easily be true.

For example, when I sat down to write STALKERS, my first DS Heckenburg novel, in 2012, I wondered if the idea of the Nice Guys Club, a crime syndicate who for big money would provide clients with rape victims of their choice, belonged more in a horror novel than a crime thriller. It seemed a very extreme notion. However, at the time, and despite my prior police experience, I truly had no idea how much sex trafficking there is in the world, how much torture-for-fun, how many Snuf movies are made. It soon transpired that I had no need to worry about my risky concept, because it was only representing one harrowing aspect of real life.

I think that’s why I’ve tackled my latest novel, STRANGERS – another potentially controversial one – in full-on fashion. This one is a no-holds-barred tale of the hunt by undercover policewomen for a female killer known to the press as Jill the Ripper, who preys on her johns and sexually mutilates them.

We’ve all seen TV dramas in which female detectives go under cover as prostitutes, and it’s often treated lightly, as if all the heroine needs to do is don a short skirt and stand sexily on the nearest street-corner. However, I’ve seen enough of it in real life to know that this is far more difficult and dangerous work than that. And after extensive discussions with fellow author and good friend of mine, Ash Cameron, who as a long-serving policewoman in the Met, performed this duty many times, I felt I had a duty to paint as realistic a picture as possible of this grim business.

So … I make no apologies for the grimy subways or dingy toilet blocks, for the vomit in the gutters, the needles in the back-streets, the abuse the girls suffer from their punters, the violence from the pimps and dealers, the thrown excrement, and so forth.

Yes, I suspect STRANGERS is the darkest crime novel I’ve ever written, but no – because of the desperate state of some of our real lives – I don’t think I, or any other crime writer of my acquaintance, has even come close to pushing the boundaries towards unacceptability thus far.

You think crime writing’s gone dark? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

 

You can buy ‘Strangers’ from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strangers-Paul-Finch-ebook/dp/B01ARS4LRM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474806100&sr=1-1&keywords=strangers

 

Blog Tour – ‘Hunted’ by Paul Finch

Blog Tour Poster

‘Hunted’ is Paul Finch’s latest crime thriller in the DS Heckenburg series.  Already out as an eBook, it has now been published in paperback by Avon.  As part of the blog tour I am reviewing this book along with a competition.

LightBrigade PR organised a very clever and rather creepy mailer for book bloggers taking part in this tour.  You come home one day to find that a black box has been delivered.  Wondering if it’s some nice surprise you open it to find two masks with no indication of where they’ve come from.  Scary hey!  A few of us had this special delivery.

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A short while later I received more post.

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I am scared of spiders so I was glad that these weren’t alive.  Luckily my proof copy of ‘Hunted’ was included in the package.  I was by now really intrigued and couldn’t wait to find out where these items fitted in the story.

A series of freaky and tragic accidents have been taking place.  A man is burnt alive in his car, whilst another is impaled through his chest with scaffolding.  These things happen right?

When DS Mark “Heck” Heckenburg is called in to investigate one of these accidents he has his suspicions.  More deaths confirm what he has been thinking.  There is definitely something sinister at play and even Heck isn’t safe.  Will he solve the case before it’s too late?

I absolutely loved ‘Hunted’.  Hooked from the very first page, this book didn’t disappoint at all.  It was fast-paced with lots of thrills and shocks along the way and it kept me guessing.  Until now I had never actually read any of Paul Finch’s books, but I was so impressed by his writing.  The man is a true genius.  I really liked DS Heckenburg and I hope that there will be more adventures with him.

One thing that I really didn’t expect was for some of the locations mentioned in the story to be near to where I live.  It was really quite bizarre and felt like a dream.

If you are a fan of crime fiction I really recommend you get yourself a copy of ‘Hunted’.  You don’t have to have read the previous books in the series as they are standalone novels.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Competition

Like the sound of this book?  If you do then you are in for a treat.  I am running a competition where three very lucky people will win a paperback copy of ‘Hunted’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me what your favourite type of read is.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 22nd May 2015.

The winners will be randomly chosen and notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to the publisher who will send out your prizes.

 

Good luck! 🙂

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